Take a guess: what percentage of all monthly TV viewing time is spent watching content on Netflix, the king of all streamers
The answer, according to Nielsen, is much smaller: Six percent of American adult television is via Netflix. Another 6% occurs through YouTube. Hulu represents 3%, Amazon Prime Video 2% and Disney + 1%. All types of streaming make up 26% of the US television regime, about as much as broadcast television, which accounts for 25%. Cable TV accounts for 39% of all television consumption. 9% of “other” viewings, including VOD and DVD players, complete the cake.
My takeaway: Streaming may take up three-quarters of the media world’s attention, but right now it only accounts for a quarter of viewership time. Streaming could possibly cannibalize everything, but that day is far away. But maybe you got the opposite – maybe the streaming portion of the pie is bigger than you expected!
Nielsen as “referee”
According to Nielsen, streaming’s share was around 14% in 2019, around 20% in 2020, and is at 26% now, so that’s what Hastings meant by 6% per year …
Hastings and Kilar
“The Gauge” tells us nothing about the performance of individual shows or movies. And streaming services don’t tell us much either. So there is still a lack of visibility on industry decisions. But the dearth of data also makes every occasional glimpse, like “The Gauge,” more important.
Active versus passive
Nielsen’s pie chart shows the difference between active and passive hearing, IMHO. Most of the streaming consumption is active, which means people choose a particular episode to watch at a specific time that is convenient for them. Some of the broadcast and cable TV consumption is also active, but a greater proportion is passive, meaning people turn it on and watch whatever is happening. They can leave it on for hours or switch between a few favorite channels. My gut tells me the average family wants both: sometimes they want to lean in and pick a show (I’m always late on “The Handmaid’s Tale”) and other times they want to turn CNN on and leave it on. This is why “The Gauge” is useful: Nielsen provides a holistic view of a typical TV diet …